Music Reviews



iVardensphere: Dark Science Trilogy - Part 1

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Industrial Noise / Power Noise / Harsh Noise
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 12 2015
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Artist: iVardensphere (@)
Title: Dark Science Trilogy - Part 1
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Metropolis (@)
Rated: *****
Almost synchronized with the recent release of their awesome album "Fable", Canadian duo iVardensphere, the brainchild of Scott Fox and Yann Faussurier,tries to scout different stylistical area and sonic declension on this relatively minor release - the first part of Dark Science Trilogy -. Both some obscure references - there are many similarities with the framework of the above-mentioned "Fable" - and the heavily scorching industrial wire drawing of their sound endure this skin-shedding output, but forget any grasp by means of what could resemble the form of a song as well as furious tribal drumming and EBM shredding and grating: even if the guessed voiceover, which is similar to the ones of more or less tendencious video-documentary or educational videoclips for science classrooms, is an element they used in Fable, the dirty metallic sounds of initial "Aether" move towards a sort of distorted dubstep and the disquieting choirs on "Blight" are similar to the ones you could hear in "Millian Year Echo", the opening track of "Fable", whose trait d'union seems to be the dystopian vision both tracks evoke, but those choirs sound like a disturbed interference in between the harsch distorted electric buzzes of "Blight", a track which prepares the ground for the gargantuan burp of "Lapse". I'm curious about future steps of the forthcoming chapters.

Jonathan|Christian: the nothing i feel

 Posted by Steve Mecca   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 01 2015
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Artist: Jonathan|Christian (@)
Title: the nothing i feel
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Has it already been two years since Jonathan|Christian released 'Beautiful/Hideous' ? I guess it has. 'the nothing i feel' is the followup to that, inspired by their musical roots with lush strings and the haunting keys of a grand piano, continuing their momentum bringing the best of old and new gothic rock. The album was mastered at The Cage Studios, Coventry, UK by Martin Bowes of Attrition, and features a remix by former KMFDM'er En Esch and drums by The New Creatures' Tiger Kohen on a couple of songs, including a cover of the Siouxsie Sioux/Danny Elfman song "Face to Face". Jonathan Mooney is the instrumentalist/songwriter of this duo, while Christian Granquist provides the vocals and lyrics. (Mooney is formerly of the New Creatures and now living and working out of Orange County, CA, Granquist is formerly of Day Behavior and plays keyboards in an electronic group out of Stockholm called The Atom.)

'Beautiful/Hideous' which I reviewed a good long while ago was an atmospheric, moody affair , full of pathos and high drama. On 'the nothing i feel' they haven't forsaken that, but they have pumped up the power quite a bit and that's a very positive thing. Opening with a brief lyrical recitation on the title track, Christian ensures the nothing he feels will be the nothing you feel as well. Disaffected, disillusioned, bordering on disgust, a welling up of emotion in a powerful catharsis that sweeps you away until the pseudo-classical fadeout. Wow! Rather intense. I should mention that Christian's voice sounds like a grittier Peter Murphy, but still somehow different, unique. "Goodbye Horses" and "Forgotten" are two nice tracks with appropriate impassioned delivery and lush orchestration, but "The Pink & The Black" kicks Jonathan|Christian up to a new level for them; an unstoppable locomotive of a dancefloor burner with ardent lyrics and vocals that pushes the needle into the red zone on the gothometer. "Independence" begins as a brooding piano-based ballad, but picks up steam towards the end. "Her Austere Heart" is an attempt to break the ice of the ice queen, steeped in gothic romanticism lyrically and orchestrally. A heavenly chorus ushers in "Your Lying Virtue" betraying the uptempo motif of this solid rocker that offers a few arrangement twists over the course of its four minutes and forty seconds. Another deeply emotional ballad follows with "I'm Dead (Without You)" and Christian really wears his heart on his sleeve and bares his soul for this one. "Hush" is a 52 second lullaby done old school with only piano and violin accompaniment that sounds positively nineteenth century, transitioning into into "Face To Face". For me, this is a tough one. This is one of my all-time favorite Siouxsie songs and hearing another version of it (when the original is perfect) is not easy. Be that as it may, Jonathan comes up with an interesting arrangement for the song. It's plenty powerful, and yet somehow delicate. Christian handles the vocals on it fairly well too. The album technically ends with the En Esch remix of "The Pink & The Black" and this is the one DJs are going to want for the clubs. I usually don't care much for remixes, but this one really rocks! I'm impressed. There is one more I was privy to - the Kitty Lectro Remix of "Forgotten". It's a somewhat stripped-down version of the original, and while nice, not essential. Guitar is more prominent, rhythm is simplified but overall, kind of superfluous, so you're not missing out on much.

'the nothing i feel' is a solid album with many good tracks, and some really great ones. You can preview the whole thing on their Bandcamp site, and buy it there too, or just what you like. (Buying it all give you more bang for the buck.) Powerful stuff, and if they ever play live in your area, you'd better catch them.

Kreng: The Summoner

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 24 2015
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Artist: Kreng (@)
Title: The Summoner
Format: CD
Label: Miasmah (@)
Rated: *****
This impressive release by Belgian soundtrack composer Pepijn Caudron aka Kreng, who recently made the OST for the nice horror comedy Cooties, seems to focus on one of the most relevant aspect of human life: death..or I'd better say the mourning or grieving process. The way by which he rendered the different stages of this process (each of them gives the name to the six tracks of the album) balances typical techniques for soundtracks and somehow original tricks. The first four stages don't feature any sample, but he decided to give a sonic shape to "Denial", Anger", "Bargaining" and "Depression" by focusing on the dramatic power of strings, so that he directed 12 string players, who accomplished this mission by an impressive alternation of wise exploding and sometimes unexpected crescendoes, noisy clusters and lapidary foggy overtones. There was a sort of missing ring on the chain between the first four stages and the quietly lachrymose sonorities of the final "Acceptance", which could ideally be matched to that emotional states when the pain for the loss of someone who loved is so strong that the one, who experience it, could feel close to madness or even death by its own: this emotional clot got rendered by the excellent "The Summoning", where the rising morbidity of the climax in between smokey chambers and ghostly organs explodes on the cameo by Belgian doom band Amenra, who suddenly erects a wall of guitars, drums and bass, the cherry-on-top of this portrait which was fostered by a sad year that Kreng experienced, during which many of his closest friends passed away...

Dystopian Society: Overtuned Reality

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 21 2015
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Artist: Dystopian Society (@)
Title: Overtuned Reality
Format: CD
Label: Danse Macabre
Rated: *****
Three years after their debut album "Cages" and last year's 7" EP "Violations", Dystopian Society are releasing their second album "Overtuned Reality" for Danse Macabre. With a "shrunken" line-up, the two members of the band (Max Skam - vocals, bass and Sara Hexe - guitar, drums), are delivering a thirty minutes album which is better recorded compared to the first one (also because that one was an expanded version of their first demo), but it's losing the fast songs that maybe where making me feeling better their urge to communicate their idea of a in control and repressive society. Anyway, on this new album they still worked on the same themes with passion and dedication, because that feeling of not being part of this society is still burning in their chest. The eight new tracks (plus an intro) are upbeat mid tempos with tribal drumming, fat bass lines, granitic riffs and razor like guitar arpeggios. Vocals are functional to the songs but, in my humble opinion, they should try to make them more expressive, just to have a stronger and in your face sound. I'm sure that they are already working on perfecting themselves but on the meantime, you can check "Overtuned Reality" here https://dystopiansociety.bandcamp.com/album/overturned-reality

The Danse Society: VI

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Oct 21 2015
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Artist: The Danse Society (@)
Title: VI
Format: CD
Label: Society Records
Rated: *****
New album and new line up (Paul Nash ' Guitars, Jack Cooper ' Bass, Iain Hunter ' Drums, Maethelyiah - Vocals and Sam Bollands - Keyboards) for the third The Danse Society's album after the reformation. "VI" contains ten new songs that confirm the band as one of the most powerful of the old scene, along with Killing Joke. The album, after a quick synth intro, starts with a blast, as "In The Red" sets the bar to a high level and if the mid tempo of "Star Whisperer", "Awesome" or "Ain't Gonna Happen" keep the tension high, "Bloodstream", for a moment, seems to offer a pause to the listener but then, its raging guitar awaits for you and its crescendo is taking no hostages. The real blast is the following one: "Freak Show" is a powerful one that recalls me Siouxsie & The Banshees of the "Hyena" period mixed with the Killing Joke of songs like "Money Is Not Our God"... yeah, that good... The new line-up is giving to the band a new energy as this album is more direct, tribal and for sure you won't miss tracks like "Doodlebug". The Danse Society's sound is now fat, powerful, grinding but still able to create mysterious atmospheres. Maethelyiah confirms herself the lioness who was roaring on the past albums and she's able to lead the band through new musical scenarios. Check the band's website, as they are still giving two tracks for free and they have opened the pre-orders as "VI" will be available on vinyl, CD and digital formats.


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